Tuesday, June 27, 2017


There was a study that showed pre-k children who knew how to play games were more successful in kindergarten. When you think about it, games help children learn to follow rules, take turns, and develop the executive function (task initiation and completion). This is good information to share with parents to encourage them to play board games and card games with their children rather than hand them their phone.

Letter Land
Why? letters, sight words, numerals, shapes, etc.
What? ask parents to donate Candy Land Games, markers
How? Write letters on the Candy Land cards. To move their ginger bread man children choose a card. They must identify the letter before moving their piece to the next color.
Board Games
Let children create their own board games to practice math facts, phonics, or review a unit of study. They’ll love making up their own rules! You’ll find blank board game patterns at these sites:


Alphabet Categories
Sounds, parts of speech, categories, rapid automatic naming, and multiple skills are reinforced with this game. When I introduced alphabet categories we played it as a large group game. Once the kids “caught on” we divided the class into two teams and played. Later, they enjoyed playing the game in small groups or with a partner.
Why? initial sounds, categories, rapid naming
What? poster board
How? You will need 2 sheets of poster board of different colors. Cut the poster board into 4” squares. (You will need 23 squares of each color.) On one color print alphabet letters. (Print “u & v” on the same card and “x, y, z” on another card.) On the other color print one of the categories below:

something in the yard                                  an animal

fruit or vegetable                                        movie star

something in the kitchen                             body part

river, lake, or ocean                                    town or city

country or state                                          a machine

type of transportation                                 a food

something you wear                                    an action

something in the zoo                                   a plant

a toy                                                          a book

a song                                                        a noun

a famous person                                         a verb

something in the school                              a game

a TV show                                                  a feeling

a color                                                       an occupation

restaurant or store                                     something that flies

Shuffle up each set of cards. Draw a card from the “letter pile” and a card from the “category pile.” Encourage the children to make the sound of the letter. Can they think of a word in the category that begins with that sound?

*When introducing this game, simply play it as a shared group Activity and do not keep score. As children become more proficient, divide the class into teams and give points to the first team to come up with a word that fits the category. Children may also enjoy playing this game in small groups.

*Adapt the categories to the age and ability of your students. For example, you could use adjectives, adverbs, nouns, verbs, prepositions, mammals, etc. for older students.